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David Nutty's picture

Report from Midwinter Meeting in Boston

LITA Technology and Access Committee
Boston Mid-Winter Minutes
Sunday, January 17, 2010 8:00-10:00 a.m.

Members Present: Heather Devine, Elena Soltau, Barbara Blummer, Mark Stoffan, David Nutty(Chair), Mona Couts (Board Liaison), Jenny Maurer  

 Also Present: Patrick Fuller (visitor)


Call to Order: 8:05 a.m.


  1. 1.       Approved Minutes from Chicago

Motion - Mark, 2nd Elena - Approved


  1. 2.       Remarks from the Chair

LITA Chairs Meeting - There is a push to use ALA Connect for all committee communication. Mark commented that it does not support RSS feeds, which is an issue for some, however it does have a lot of potential.  David will aim to switch our committee to ALA Connect and let us know.

LITA Forum 2010 is in Atlanta – “A Crowd in a Cloud” is the theme.  The committee is currently soliciting program ideas. For the first time there will be half time slots for shorter presentations.  

Continuing Education - There is an initiative to do more online webinars for LITA. They are looking for instructors - see Mandy Havert if interested.

The new LITA website is coming soon.

LITA membership is declining. Committee members can help the Membership Committee by attending one of the LITA Friday afternoon and evening events at Annual which are aimed at attracting new members.

  1. 3.       Future Role of this Committee

 LITA is reassessing its structure and working on a new strategic plan.  Monday there is a Town Hall Meeting on the strategic plan. The legislative committee was disbanded which was a “cousin” committee to TAC.  TAC reviewed the current charge. This charge is reasonable and is a unique committee in LITA focusing on these issues.  The committee feels we should focus on one part of the charge at a time. We might need to focus on points 1 and 3 for now.

The charge to “prepare position papers” is not reasonable for the committee.  It is felt that preparing position papers should be OITP domain. Number 3 is the one that we could really perform - publicize technology and access issues. This could be in conjunction with the Washington Office.

The third paragraph deals with the Chair being a representative on other committees. One is the Intellectual Freedom Committee, but David has not been on it.  He is on the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) as the LITA representative.  David noted that about half of the cases FTRF is involved in had a technology aspect to the issue.  An example is that FTRF is watching the issue of cyber-bullying.

Elena volunteered to attend the Intellectual Freedom Committee meeting at Annual on behalf of the committee.  Meanwhile, Mona will take to the Board the need for a liaison between TAC and OITP.

There is another expectation that is not in the charge. We are the LITA/NISO review committee. David forwards NISO proposals for comment.  It was noted that they are often highly technical and the committee does not feel qualified to comment.  NISO should be reviewed by a more technical group - possibly an interest group.

David recommends that we tighten up the charge and take out the unrealistic portions. We should formalize our committee liaisons positions and drop the NISO charge. We need to establish the link to OITP and the Washington office. This will help focus our energy. The group agreed. David will work on a revised charge and share with the committee.   A draft is attached to these minutes.

  1. 4.       Projects or Programs for Annual

The presentation at Chicago garnered over 200 attendees. Greg Jackson, one of the speakers, has since moved to EDUCAUSE. Barbara sent an article on Search Neutrality which is a cousin to our discussion on Net Neutrality.   Discussion occurred on search neutrality, Google bombing, Google control of search results, etc. We do not have time to develop this as a program for 2010 Annual. We will research “search neutrality” as possible topic for Annual 2011.  Another possible topic would be raising awareness of issues of freedom and equality around access issues using our connections to IFC and FTRF. David noted the attorney for FTRF was an excellent speaker.   Another idea is the tension between IT’s tendency to want to “lock down” access for security reasons vs. the libraries tendency to want open access.  We might have an academic speaker, a public library speaker, and an IT CIO.  David will also see what OITP is working on presently.

  1. 5.       OITP Representative

Mona will be requesting that an OITP representative join our committee.  The liaisons will be in addition to the current members. She will also ask about changing the appointments to be more staggered. 

  1. 6.       Other Business

 Mark let us know his interest group will have a program at Annual on Virtualizing  Servers.

David asked the committee’s preference for meeting time at Annual.   We will keep the Sunday 8:00-10:00 a.m. time slot.


Adjourned: 9:36 a.m.

Submitted by Jenny Maurer


Draft of new Committee Charge: 

Revised Charge for the LITA Technology and Access Committee

January 25, 2010 Draft


The Technology and Access Committee (TAC) works with the LITA Board, LITA Interest Groups and other ALA units to encourage a broad social and technical perspective on the effects of information technologies on freedom and equality of access to information.  The committee focuses on the legal, design, and access issues of information.  The committee may explore  1) the technological aspects of new information technologies which may increase or decrease access;  2) the distribution models within which the technology is deployed;  3) the economic, technological and political control of information;  4) legislation which may impact  access to information and  5) confidentiality of personal data and access to data.   The OITP is an important source of information for the TAC, and the LITA Liaison to OITP will be an ex officio TAC member. 

 The committee will publicize and help inform LITA members about such issues through LITA communication channels, program development, co-sponsorship of programs with other LITA groups and ALA divisions, and other strategies devised by the committee. 

 The Technology and Access Committee Chair and/or members also serve as LITA Representative to the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee and to the Freedom to Read Foundation.  The LITA Representative to each group will report action items and items of relevance to LITA to the LITA President and Executive Director, as well as the TAC. 



NISO standard evaluation removed from this committee to be re-assigned within LITA


Does the Board wish the ALA IFC and FTRF representative to be from this committee or should they be appointed by the President Elect and have a liaison relationship to the committee?